Home Virto Commerce blog The Expert Guide to B2B Order Management Systems (OMS) and Software Comparison
B2B Order Management

B2B Order Management: Explanation & OMS Software Comparison

An ecommerce business always includes working with orders, warehouses, and clients. Managing them manually, especially if the business is enterprise-level, is nearly impossible. This is why B2B Order Management Systems were invented: they reduce routine, automate most of the processes, lower the number of potential errors, and more. But how to build such a system and choose a trusted vendor to ensure your new Order Management System (OMS) will give you what you need? In our new article, we provide details on the B2B order management process, uncover the software useful for building such a system, share best practices, and tell why Virto is a perfect enterprise-level B2B Order Management System Provider.

Introduction to B2B Order Management System

B2B Order Management is the process of end-to-end managing and fulfilling orders in a B2B environment. Effective order management ensures that orders are processed accurately and efficiently.   

This is a key process of working with orders, including processing order details, pricing, and availability. B2B order management provides inventory control and fulfillment, order visibility and analytics, and streamlined finances. All this leads to an enhanced customer experience and results in bigger sales. Here are the most important components of B2B order management that OMS systems can do: 

  • Capturing order details from customers. 

OMS can collect product specifications, quantities, pricing, and any customization requirements. This is a multichannel process that can be done either through online portals or direct sales. 

  • Order processing 

Once an order is captured, it goes through the order processing stage. This involves validating the order, verifying pricing and availability, checking credit limits, and generating order confirmations. 

  • Inventory management

Effective B2B order management requires efficient inventory management. All can be done with OMS, from tracking inventory levels to managing backorders. 

  • Order fulfillment 

This component encompasses the processes involved in picking, packing, and shipping the ordered products. It includes warehouse management, order prioritization, packaging, labeling, and coordinating with shipping carriers for timely delivery. 

  • Order tracking and communication with clients 

This is about providing customers with real-time updates on the status of their orders. Businesses can address customer inquiries, provide support, and resolve any order-related issues via various channels. 

  • Invoicing and financial integration 

Order management systems integrate with financial systems to automate the generation of invoices, track payment status, and manage any billing discrepancies. 

B2B Order Management vs. B2C Order Management

B2B and B2C order management are not the same. Differences between catalogs and target audiences affect the process a lot. Here, we have selected the most significant points of difference between the two approaches: 

  • The higher complexity of B2B processes.

The volumes and complexity for B2B order management are typically higher than B2C. B2B orders are larger and usually negotiated and personalized. B2C orders are typically smaller in volume and involve standardized products and prices. 

  • Customer relationship.

The B2B relationship between the buyer and seller is often more collaborative and long-term, while B2C order management is typically focused on one-time purchases. 

  • Order process and workflow.

B2B workflows are usually tailored to the specific needs of business customers and may include many decision-makers. The B2C order process is often simple, with one person making a decision. 

  • Payment terms difference.

If talking about B2B, the pricing is often negotiated and can be very personal, while B2C prices are usually fixed, and business doesn't offer many payment options. 

  • Product catalog and inventory management. 

Product catalogs in B2B usually offer complex product configurations and variants. In B2C, the product catalog is simple, and all business has to care about is accurate inventory. 

  • Order fulfillment and delivery.

Complex logistics and additional services usually characterize the B2B order process. B2C order fulfillment focuses on efficient packaging and shipping only. 

  • Customer service and support.

B2B order management requires robust customer service and support capabilities to address business customers' specific needs and requirements. This is a more complicated process than B2C, as B2B aims for long-term relationships. 

  • Client communication.

Business customers may require real-time updates and advanced visibility, which means B2B needs more tracking capabilities and closer communication with clients. B2C order management is generally focused on providing simple and user-friendly tracking options for individual consumers. 

Obviously, the details depend on the specific industry, company size, and business model. However, B2B is usually more complex in everything.

The difference between the B2B order management ecommerce software and B2C ecommerce

B2B vs. B2C order management

Benefits of B2B Order Management Systems

Overall success and efficiency of the business strongly depend on order management. Correctly organized B2B order management offers many benefits that can bring your business to another level: 

  • Improved order accuracy 

By implementing B2B Order Management processes, businesses can reduce manual errors and reach higher order accuracy, minimizing order cancellations, returns, and customer dissatisfaction. 

  • Faster order processing 

Automation of order workflows reduces order cycle times, enabling businesses to meet customer expectations for prompt order processing and delivery. 

  • Better inventory management 

Accurate and real-time inventory information helps business to fulfill orders efficiently, avoid backorders, and make informed decisions regarding inventory replenishment. 

  • Enhanced customer experience 

Accurate order tracking and responsive customer support, including self-service order management capabilities, enhance the customer experience significantly. 

  • Increased efficiency and productivity 

B2B Order Management automates order processing workflows, so businesses can free up valuable resources, reduce operational costs, and allocate personnel to more strategic activities. 

  • Data insights and analytics 

Businesses can make data-driven decisions and optimize order management processes by analyzing order patterns and customer preferences.   

  • Collaboration and relationship building 

B2B businesses need strong collaboration. Order management fosters communication and strengthens relationships to build trust and loyalty. Collaborative order management processes enable effective coordination and problem-solving, leading to stronger partnerships with customers. 

Best Practices for B2B Order Management Systems

To reach great results and ensure you get these benefits, never stop learning and trying. Here, we have selected the best practices to start with when building your first B2B Order Management system: 

  • Automate order processing. Use technology solutions that can automatically capture and process orders, validate pricing and availability, generate order confirmations, and trigger fulfillment workflows. 
  • Integrate with inventory management. The system should check inventory availability in real time when registering the order. The orders that cannot be fulfilled must not be created. After placing the order, it should automatically allocate stock and update inventory records. Such integration of systems optimizes inventory management and prevents stockouts or overstocks.
  • Use a centralized order management system. A centralized system allows for capturing, processing, and fulfilling orders from multiple sources and channels to optimize data processing. 
  • Implement real-time order tracking. Integration with logistics partners allows for seamless tracking and timely updates. Real-time order tracking capabilities provide visibility and transparency to customers. 
  • Provide exceptional management capabilities. The Order Management system should be able to identify and manage exceptions such as stockouts, order cancellations, or delivery delays.  
  • Enable customer self-service. Self-service capabilities enable customers to place orders, track shipments, view order history, and manage account information, saving time for both customers and the business. 
  • Integrate with CRM and ERP systems. Such an integration provides a comprehensive view of customer data, enabling personalized service, and ensures seamless flow of order information, inventory updates, and financial data. 
  • Continuously monitor and optimize performance. Regularly monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) related to order management. Use analytics to identify bottlenecks, trends, and areas for improvement.  

While there are much more ways to improve the overall efficiency of B2B order management. 

B2B Order Management Software

B2B order management software plays a crucial role in automating the end-to-end order management process. It offers improved order accuracy and faster order processing by minimizing human errors and minimizing order cancellations or returns due to inaccuracies. As manual labor and errors are reduced, B2B order management leads to better data insights, analytics, and streamlined inventory management. These enhancements result in efficient communication, customer services, and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The key features and processes of B2B order management

The key features we provide below contribute to efficient order processing and effective customer relationship management. Choosing the B2B software, make sure it has the following features: 

Order processing includes order capture, validation, routing, and confirmation. This step ensures getting the order, providing necessary details, and ensuring the correct allocation of the order to be delivered.  
Inventory management encompasses inventory tracking and visibility, backorder, and warehouse management to streamline order fulfillment processes.

How B2B order management software integrates with other business systems

B2B order management ecommerce software plays a crucial role in integrating with other business systems, such as inventory management and accounting, in creating a more comprehensive solution for businesses. Here's a detailed explanation of what B2B sales order management software integrations can bring to your system: 

1. Integration with inventory management 

  • It integrates with inventory management to provide real-time inventory updates. When an order is placed, the software communicates with the inventory management system and automatically updates the inventory. 
  • Stock allocation and reservations. Once an order is confirmed, the software communicates with the inventory management system to reserve the stock.

2. Integration with accounting systems 

  • The software integrates with accounting systems to streamline the invoicing and billing processes. Once an order is confirmed and fulfilled, the software automatically generates invoices and sends them to customers. 
  • It allows for seamless payment processing. When customers make payments for their orders, the B2B ecommerce order management software communicates with the accounting system and marks orders as paid. 
  • The OMS can access financial data to generate financial reports, track sales revenue, analyze profitability, and gain insights into financial performance. 

3. Integration with customer relationship management (CRM) 

  • It synchronizes customer data to ensure that they remain consistent across both systems.
  • For efficient account management, B2B order management software can access customer data, providing customer service representatives with a comprehensive view of the customer's order history, preferences, and special requests.
  • Using integrated systems enables businesses to access customer buying patterns, preferences, and trends in CMS straight from the Order Management System, providing more control and greater insights. 

Most people choose their ecommerce software based on the Brand name and popularity. In reality, most huge solutions provide great capabilities to use here and now but a very low readiness to innovate. Below, we provide a comparison of some popular ecommerce vendors offering B2B order management ecommerce software.

Comparison of the top order management software B2B solutions

When choosing software, businesses may be aware only of the OOTB features vendors offer. However, the most important part of the decision-making is to request the vendor if they offer high scalability and readiness to innovate. For example, here we provide huge systems like SAP, Salesforce B2B order management, and Oracle. All of them might order great existing features. Still, each innovation will cost a business a fortune as systems are not tailored to be quickly customized.

Comparison Point
Oracle
SAP
Salesforce
Virto Commerce
Order processing  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Inventory management  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Real-time order tracking  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Exception management  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
eCommerce integration  Yes  Yes  Limited Yes 
Customization options   Limited  Limited and paid Limited  Full, OOTB 
Mobile compatibility (B2B sales order management app)  Limited  Yes Yes Yes
Compatibility with third-party software  Limited  Limited  Limited  Full
Reporting and analytics  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scalability and readiness for innovations  Low Low Low High

Сhoosing the right software is hard. To help you with this, below, we provide a short guide on choosing the perfect B2B Order Management system and be sure it will give you what you need.

How to Choose the Right B2B Order Management System for Your Business

1. Assess your business requirements. Identify your needs and prioritize the features needed. This could include order processing, inventory management, integration capabilities, reporting, scalability, and customization options. 

2. Research and evaluate solutions: consider factors such as industry reputation, customer reviews, and analyst evaluations. Request demos from shortlisted vendors and ask vendors for references from businesses similar to yours. Download our RFQ template from the article to know more about the questions you need to ask your vendor. 

3. Consider key factors: 

  • Scalability and readiness for innovations. Evaluate whether the software can accommodate your business's growth and ensure the cost of innovation is affordable. 
  • Integration capabilities. Assess the software's ability to seamlessly integrate with your existing systems, such as inventory management, accounting, and CRM. 
  • Compare pricing models and consider the total cost of ownership, including upfront costs, licensing fees, maintenance fees, innovation fees, and more. 

4. Try and test. Request free trials or proof of concepts to test the software with your specific use cases. This allows you to assess the software's performance, usability, and compatibility with your existing systems before committing to a purchase. 

5. Make a decision. Make an informed decision based on a comprehensive evaluation of the different factors. 

Choosing the right B2B order management software requires a thorough understanding of your business requirements and careful evaluation of different solutions. However, since the solution is chosen, you can constantly enhance your business with no need to replatform. 

Enhancing your existing business operations

Using B2B order management software effectively can significantly improve business operations and efficiency. Here are some best practices to maximize the benefits of B2B order management software: 

  • Automate repetitive tasks 
  • Streamline order fulfillment workflows 
  • Centralize order data 
  • Integrate with other systems to maximize the software's capabilities  
  • Leverage real-time data and analytics 
  • Implement real-time order tracking 
  • Provide self-service capabilities 
  • Regularly review and optimize processes 
  • Invest in training and support 
  • Regularly audit and maintain data quality.

Potential drawbacks of an implementation

While implementing B2B order management software offers numerous benefits, there are potential drawbacks and challenges. Here are some key considerations: 

  • Cost and complexity of integration. Integrating B2B order management software with existing systems can be complex and costly. Ensure the vendor offers deep support and that the pricing policy is transparent. 
  • Data privacy and security concerns. Ensure the software complies with data protection regulations (e.g., GDPR) and implement appropriate security measures. Specific certifications can confirm this: for example, Virto Commerce recently got a SOC 2 certification confirming that it complies with all the enterprise-level data management regulations. 
  • The need for ongoing maintenance and support. Consider the vendor's reputation for customer support, availability of documentation, and software maintenance policies. Probably, your vendor has a community of ready-to-help experts. 
  • User adoption and training. It's important for your vendor to offer comprehensive training programs, provide user documentation, and offer ongoing support to ensure smooth adoption and utilization of the software. 
  • Scalability and flexibility. Choosing a software solution that can scale with the business and adapt to changing needs is important. For example, Virto Atomic Architecture™ enables the solution to be fully scalable from small to huge enterprise-level entities and customize each little piece of the system when needed without the need for a deep knowledge of programming. 

B2B order management software is continuously evolving to meet the changing needs of businesses and customers in the ecommerce space. The systems aim to enhance mobile access, analyze more data in real-time and use the assistance of AI.

Why Virto Is a Perfect Fit for Enterprise eCommerce Order Management Capabilities

The increasing importance of mobile access, AI-powered automation, real-time data analytics, and enhanced customer experience drives enterprise businesses to choose innovations rather than OOTB. 

Among all the enterprise-level solutions present on the market, Virto Commerce uses a modern headless approach. This is a modular platform that can easily build a comprehensive B2B online Order Management Portal as a part of the whole ecommerce ecosystem. API-based architecture allows for easy integrations with any third-party solution, making it easy to connect all your data and use them transparently.  

The solution can be useful in the following situations: 

As Virto Commerce' main goal is leading any business to the enterprise level and higher revenues, the B2B order management functionality is tailored to handle huge loads and comply with any innovation needed, ensuring that the company of any size will have an opportunity for further growth.

Instead of purchasing the solution that would lead your company to more and more replatformings, it makes much more sense to try out modular solution, and module by module come to something everlasting and always ready to innovations. 

Conclusion

Knowing B2B order management is essential. Building a robust B2B order management in your business can result in many benefits for your company: 

  • Improved order accuracy 
  • Faster order processing 
  • Better inventory management 
  • Enhanced customer experience 
  • Increased efficiency and productivity 
  • Data insights and analytics 
  • Collaboration and relationship building 

The most important step is to choose the solution wisely with readiness for innovations and modern capabilities in mind. Before trying the outdated solutions popular in the market today, request a free demo from the Virto team to discuss your real needs and see the system in action or reach our experts to get help with the first steps of building your B2B order management system.

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Nikolay Sidelnikov
Nikolay Sidelnikov
Nikolay has nearly 15 years of experience in business software requirements management and enterprise solutions implementation.
Jul 17, 2023 • 6 min
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